Lifetime Firefighter Passes
Eugene Martin Campbell, fondly known as “Gene or Pappy,” passed away peacefully Sunday evening April 11, 2021 at Westminster Woods Retirement Community where he resided for the past several years. He was 88 years old.
He managed through the pandemic, including contracting Covid-19 last fall, and had recovered quite well, said his daughters, Jackie Lemin and Johnni Beckel. He was a fighter, but his multiple health conditions may have contributed to his death. The day before his passing, he enjoyed a long “in-person” visit with his family and ate a Banana Split from Dairy Queen and Jelly Beans from Gardners Candies; two of his favorite snacks.
A resident of the Huntingdon area since 1979, he was a loyal lifetime member of the Huntingdon Regional Fire and Rescue where he volunteered and supported activities with his wife’s late father, Bursey Garner for many years. He enthusiastically contributed his 72 years of experience as a dedicated firefighter and emergency operations center Lieutenant at Fairfax County Fire and Rescue in Virginia where he retired in 1988 as a lifetime member. He always had an EMS scanner close by to listen to the calls and provide emotional support his fellow first responder heroes.
You would often see Gene camping at Raystown Resort with his children and grandchildren or cheering them on from the stands at a baseball game or horse show. His big heart, witty sense of humor and love for his family brought him and those around him much happiness.
Born February 16, 1933 in Grove Oak, Alabama to Roscoe and Allie Martin and immediately adopted by his Uncle Fred and Aunt Ruth Campbell after his mother passed away while bringing him into the world. A true southern boy, he enjoyed his sweet tea, corn bread and fried okra. After completing his high school education he was immediately drawn to serving his community as a firefighter.
He met Joyce (Garner) Reed, on a blind date through mutual friends, and the rest was history. Gene and Joyce were married for 47 years.
He is survived by daughters, Jackie Reed Lemin and Johnni Reed Beckel, son-in-law Joe Beckel, grandchildren, Jared Lemin, Braihan and Skyllar Beckel and nephews Roger Frickes, James Frickes and niece Debra Williams . He is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Campbell, son-in-law, William O. Lemin and siblings Thelbert, Comer, Ruby, Mildred, Sue and triplets Tressie Nell, Bessie Nell and Dessie Nell.
Friends and family may call on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Akers Funeral Chapel, 715 Church Street, Saxton, PA 16678, until the hour of service. A Fire Fighter Funeral Service will commence immediately following at 11:00 am with Pastor Patty Wise officiating. Burial will be held at Dudley Methodist Cemetery.
If friends desire memorial contributions, they may be made in memory of Eugene to the Huntingdon Regional Fire and Rescue Company, P.O Box 5, Huntingdon, PA 16652. Online condolences may be expressed at www.akersfuneralchapel.com.
To send flowers to Eugene's family, please visit our floral store.